You may know by now that I was out of town this previous weekend. A set of my very good friends – Will and Ashley – got hitched in the suburbs of Chicago.
Usually, when I go back “home,” my parents have flown me in for a holiday of some sort and Bogart my time. As a general rule, I am not really allowed to see friends. This may seem silly, but I am with my whole family for 3 days a year (at best) and as close as we are, we feel the need to make the absolute most of it and I’m so incredibly happy that we do.
This rule does not apply to Natalie or Erin (or if she is in town, Laura.). On the occasion KC is also in town, I’m allowed to see her, too.
Okay, enough background – this trip was on my own dime, for my own reasons, my parents weren’t even in town – so I got to see more people and do more things and I decided to make a whole trip out of it.
I flew in Wednesday evening and spent a bit of time with my sister (I stayed at her house in the city even when she went out of town to my parents’ house) before passing out.
Thursday the fun began! Thursday was my day to spend with my sister and her kids – Brandon (5) and Hannah (2).
We went to the Free Zoo (it’s actually called Lincoln Park Zoo, and I’ve frequented it often. I’ve also thrown up in basically every bathroom on site.) In addition to checking out the ape house, the lion house, the small reptile house and the flamingos, we went to the petting zoo. They have a little veggie farm in addition to petting animals. We left there with a fresh picked Fennel bulb and some turnips.
If I’m being honest, we went to the petting zoo because I wanted to take a selfie with a goat.
Then Brandon and I went and had super special time together: we went to get fro-yo and grocery shop for some special grain-free foods for me and cookies and jelly beans for him.
Part of the job description of being an aunt is that I get to load them up with things their parents won’t let them have. It’s one of my favorite things about being an aunt.
I then went to dinner with my friend (because I can!) Julie who is super pregnant and I’m super excited for her to have her little boy! We went to this yummy tapas style place called Volo. Go there. Just do it.
That night I helped with bath time, bed time (and reading time) before spending time with my sister and her husband and then going to bed.
Friday started with a 3.2 mile run in 100% humidity – and that’s NOT an exaggeration. It was my first ever run in the city of Chicago in spite of living in the area for 24 years. It was beautiful and I think I grinned like an idiot the whole grueling time!
Living in Florida you get used to that kind of humidity, but normally I’m running in 95% humidity and 85 degrees. So 68 degrees with all of the humidity was not bad. Not bad at all.
Then I embarked on what has since been dubbed “Best Friend Birth-Date.” Erin and I went to brunch at Eleven City Diner (noms!) and then walked down to museum campus. At this point, Erin became mother fucking Cinderella and a woodland creature made a fucking nest out of her fucking hair. With the help of two strangers, we got the sparrow out of her hair and continued – VERY traumatized – to the Adler Planetarium.
We went to watch a couple of “educational” shows and went into this little ride which is like a globe with holes in it that makes it look like constellations from the inside. The ride operator – Declan – probably hated us because we asked stupid questions and made inside jokes the entire time. Because we’re best friends.
Then we relaxed and got ready for our swanky dinner plans. We went to the Kinzie Chop House and got our steak on (and bourbon.) Then headed to the location of our birthday party: Glasgott’s Saloon. There was beer. There was shots. There was friends from way back when. There was Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You. All in all, it was the exact birthday party that we needed.
I tried to link the video I have of us singing All I Want For Christmas Is You, but it won’t let me/I don’t know how. Instead, go to my vine (deborahilene) or stalk my twitter (@deborahilene) to find it.
The rest of my weekend will be posted in …My Kind of Razzmatazz (Part 2) covering the wedding, seeing my brother and his family, trying to see a lot of friends, and my very first experience with Uber.
Also, feel free to use my links and whatnot as a guide for planning your very own “More Than Sweet Potatoes Chicagoland Trip.”